«I fully agree with President Draghi: the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which Italy has presented to the European Commission, is not only a question of work, welfare and income. It is a much broader discourse, which includes fundamental civil values. The fate of our country depends on this plan and its implementation».
This is how Domenico De Rosa, CEO of the SMET Group, comments on the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) – more commonly known as the Recovery Plan – which contains all the reforms that Italy intends to undertake to revive the national economy, which has been severely tested by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Recovery Plan, illustrated by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, envisages total financing for Italy of 221.1 billion euros, of which 191.5 billion from European Union funds, including subsidies and low-interest loans, and 30.6 billion from internal resources, to be used by 2026. «The future of Italy, says De Rosa, cannot disregard the major works, which must remedy a serious infrastructure deficit».
Under the heading “Infrastructure for sustainable mobility”, the Plan allocates 25.3 billion euros, most of which will be used to make the road and motorway network safe and efficient and to implement high-speed rail. «The interventions on the railway network identified by the plan, including the improvement of transit on the Rome-Reggio Calabria, the strengthening of the lines to Liguria, the works of adduction between Verona and Brenner – continues De Rosa – are strategic, as are the renewal of freight wagons and locomotives. The railway, together with maritime connections, is an integral part of the development of intermodal transport, the potential of which our group is one of the first in Europe to understand in terms of efficiency and environmental sustainability. Today we operate 16 company trains a week on the railways».
Then there is the geographical position of the country, which used to be Italy’s largest natural logistics platform in the Mediterranean: the natural candidate for becoming the arrival and departure point for goods transport by sea. According to the latest Sea Report, dated 2019, the maritime sector in Italy has an economic weight of 34.3 billion in added value with 185 thousand direct employment units. But until now the “sea resource” has lacked an organised strategy at national level. In this regard, precisely in conjunction with the Recovery Plan, Confindustria has produced a National Strategic Plan that affirms the importance of the sea’s economic viability and outlines the necessary measures, including the infrastructural planning of maritime ports, hinterlands and Special Economic Zones, the necessary institutional reforms, the development of technological innovation and sustainability, and the ability to attract investment through an appropriate tax policy.
«I share the opinion of Confindustria President Carlo Bonomi. For the maritime economy, concludes the helmsman of the SMET Group, the Recovery Plan must coincide with the initial phase of a longer programme, based on four pillars: infrastructure interventions, reforms, technological innovation and taxation. Particular attention should certainly be paid to the south of Italy, since a real recovery cannot be achieved without overcoming the gap between the north and south of the country. I think the proposal of the Euro-Mediterranean logistic Southern Range is excellent, basically a single development system for the southern ports, integrated with the port logistics system of the Centre-North».
Source: Il Mondo dei Trasporti